By Steve Pawlowski
An Arizona broadcasting icon Pat McMahon has done it all in a career which now spans more than five decades. His work as an actor, producer, recording artist, writer, broadcaster and one-third of the legendary television comedy team that made up “The Wallace and Ladmo Show” has earned him an impressive list of well-deserved accolades.
McMahon is a seven-time Emmy Award winner who holds countless national and international radio, civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University, received the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime Achievement Award, is a member of The Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame and was honored by the Herberger Theater in recognition of his contributions to the arts.
His life in entertainment began with his vaudeville performing parents who performed under the name “McMahon and Adelaide.” At only five weeks old, they took him on the road as they played the vaudeville circuits around the country and the world. His love for dogs dogs started when he was 10 and got his first pet, a beagle named Mike.
“That was almost before dogs were even invented,” jokes McMahon.
Mike was rescued from a shelter and joined the traveling family on their journey. However, the McMahons realized nomadic life wasn’t conducive to having a pet. Mike was then adopted by a loving family with a backyard, but not before leaving a lasting impression on the younger McMahon.
After majoring in drama and broadcasting at St. Ambrose University, McMahon landed his first broadcasting job as a disc jockey at KSTT radio in Davenport, Iowa, followed by a stint in the Army. During his service he was assigned to a touring theatrical group and for two years he traveled the world spreading goodwill through music and comedy for military personnel and civilians alike.
Once he returned from service, McMahon drove in to his entertainment and broadcast career that has spanned more than five decades. While he is perhaps most recognized for playing multiple characters on The Wallace and Ladmo Show,” McMahon has also spent 33 years at KTAR and continues to be a fixture on local media outlets today.
You can see McMahon weekday mornings on AZTV’s Arizona Daily Mix and hear him on The God Show which airs on the Star Worldwide Networks. He continues to provide his signature, thought-provoking, opinionated, and entertaining interviews. When he isn’t hard at work in a radio or TV studio, you’ll find him and his wife, Dr. Duffy McMahon, pampering their 11-year-old Goldendoodle, Bijou, and newest family member, Rocky.
The McMahons knew they were blessed when Bijou housetrained herself the day they brought her home. Today, she’s a credentialed therapy dog, assisting Duffy in her practice as a certified hypnotherapist, specializing in relationships. The McMahons say Bijou is one of those dogs who doesn’t know she’s a dog. Raised almost exclusively around humans, she paid little or no attention to anything with four legs…until recently.
As long-time supporters of the Valley’s animal welfare community, one of the McMahons’ favorite local events is the Arizona Humane Society’s Compassion with Fashion. This year’s event proved to be unforgettable because the McMahons were the lucky raffle winners of Rocky, an adorable Bichon/Poodle mix. With more than 1,200 people in attendance, they never thought Rocky would be coming home with them!
Rocky was lovingly nursed back to health by the good folks at AHS after being hit by a car. Today he has boundless energy and spunk, a constant source of joy for the McMahons and Bijou.
After Bijou’s initial reaction of “what the heck is THAT thing,” she totally bonded with the pup and quickly became protective of her new little brother. She even insists that they share a kennel during their regular trips to the groomer.
McMahon says he’s not a preacher but suggests that people look around to see if there might be room for another being in their lives, even if they already have a dog. While they had no intention of being a multi-pet family, Rocky is now an integral member of the McMahon pack. Or in the very least, support your local animal shelters and encourage others to adopt.
“Just be prepared if you attend Compassion with Fashion,” says Pat. “You never know what (or who) you’ll end up going home with!”
This article originally appeared in our July 2018 issue.